Joy Castro, One Brilliant Flame
This time on the Gulf Coast Life Book Club, we hear from Joy Castro, whose new novel, One Brilliant Flame, is based on actual events. The story takes place in Key West in 1886, when it was the most prosperous city in Florida. The workers in the busy cigar factories listen to lectors reading them the news and great literature all day as they roll cigars. Beneath that calm surface, an anticolonial insurgency is roiling among the large Cuban population on the island. And the six main characters, each from a different sliver of Key West society, take us through the action of this novel, which culminates in the Great Fire of Key West.